San Diego

French Artist Donates $2.2M to Local Military Veterans

Proceeds from weekend art sale will benefit Warrior Foundation, Freedom Station

A 77-year-old famous French artist named Jean-Pierre Rousseau is donating more than 100 paintings to benefit our local military at the Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station.

The $2.2 million collection includes pieces by the former painter for Princess Grace of Monaco as well as other celebrities.

Rousseau’s reason for the donation is based on a fond memory with American troops 70 years ago, a friend told NBC 7.

“When I was a little boy, I remember being with my father watching the American troops march into Paris (this is World War II), liberating Paris, and I owe them a debt of gratitude,” Rousseau said, according to friend Dina Eliash Robinson.

Locally, his art was featured in a La Jolla gallery until the owner died.

Instead of sending his work back to France after her gallery closed, Rousseau asked for his paintings to be donated to help wounded veterans in San Diego.

Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station helps members of the military who are seriously injured after returning from war, those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, those undergoing physical therapy and warriors who are medically retired.

A volunteer with the organization and the Vice President of the Navy Nurse Corps of Southern California, Ellen Citreno, said even if they sell 10 percent of the paintings it will help the organization do more for veterans. 

“So, for him to remember us and what he sees on the news and what he sees over in France that are still happening to our troops and the injuries that are phenomenon that just we can’t imagine being without legs and arms and trying to live a life where you can get back into society,” Citreno said.

The art will be on display for donations to the Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station on Saturday and Sunday at the Scottish Rite Events Center in Mission Valley (1895 Camino del Rio South, San Diego) from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days.

Purchases are tax-deductible. For more information about the art sale, visit the website.

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